Study: Heavy drinking may alter your DNA

News
drinking_mgn_640x360_80208P00-SMUAG_1548964617425.jpg

A lot of drinking may alter your DNA, increasing your desire for alcohol even more.

That’s the finding of a Rutgers University and Yale University study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more,” said Distinguished Professor Dipak K. Sarkar, senior author of the study and director of the Endocrine Program in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction, and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent at-risk people from becoming addicted.”

Scientists at Rutgers and Yale University School of Medicine focused on two genes implicated in the control of drinking behavior: PER2, which influences the body’s biological clock, and POMC, which regulates our stress-response system.

By comparing groups of moderate, binge and heavy drinkers, the researchers found that the two genes had changed in the binge and heavy drinkers through an alcohol-influenced gene modification process called methylation.

The binge and heavy drinkers also showed reductions in “gene expression,” or the rate at which these genes create proteins. These changes increased with greater alcohol intake.

Additionally, in an experiment, the drinkers viewed stress-related, neutral or alcohol-related images. They also were shown containers of beer and subsequently tasted beer, and their motivation to drink was evaluated. The result: alcohol-fueled changes in the genes of binge and heavy drinkers were associated with a greater desire for alcohol.

The findings may eventually help researchers identify biomarkers – measurable indicators such as proteins or modified genes – that could predict an individual’s risk for binge or heavy drinking, said Sarkar, who works in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Vaccine Debate

DAPL Appeal

KX Convo: Sen. Kevin Cramer

Winter Driving Reminders

Chocolates for Shopping

Firefighter Competition

Memory Bears

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 1/26

Weather Zoom

Mugshot Bill

NDC JAN 26

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Tom's Tuesday Afternoon #OneMinuteForecast 1/26

BSC Basketball

Bishop Ryan Girl's Basketball

Hettinger-Scranton Girl's Basketball

Legacy Boy's Basketball

ATW: David Tries It w/ Majettes Hockey

ATW: BSC's Buster Gilliss

More Video

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

KX News Trending Stories

Latest Stories

More Local News